Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Minute by Minute with the Builders of Hope/Hump Day

7:13 AM.  Good Morning Everyone! Today is Wednesday which means we are officially halfway through our trip (happy hump day). It also means that this is the third day we have the "pleasure" of listening to Fr. Ted's Wake Up playlist.  If you would like to experience the "joy" of this playlist for yourself, I invite you to go on youtube and look up the Lazy Town Wake Up Song (Lazy Town Wake Up)...then play it at 7 am.

7:50 AM. I am currently eating a blueberry muffin the size of a small house (carbs = energy!!!). At this point in our trip, we have all become painfully aware of muscles we didn't even know we had, ESPECIALLY in our lower backs.  If any of you back home are offering free massages, we would all be interested.  Thanks.

5:31 PM.  I apologize for the huge time gap.  I meant to bring paper to the worksite, but I forgot...per usual.  Public Service Announcement.  We just finished the 1000 piece puzzle that we started on Sunday! It's a huge deal.  (There are about 8 pieces missing - I suspect they were eaten by the vacuum, but we are staying positive.
We got back from the worksite about an hour ago.  This message is coming to you after a 30 minute long shower.  The minutes were distributed as follows: 1 minute of water and 29 minutes of scrubbing cement off of my arms and legs only to give up eventually.  I still have cement on my elbows...
So today was another day of hard work, stomach-pain inducing laughter and delicious food (no seriously, todays lunch was sooooo good!!!!)
After the work day, Eduardo drove us to the US/Mexico border where many people have crossed over illegally.  Back in the 80s (I think) there used to be an area called "Friendship Park" where Mexican Americans could reunite with their families.  Today, the whole park is on the Mexican side of the border.  Across the fence on the US side, there is a whole lot of nothing with the exception of a few ominous looking helicopters.
For me, the park induced some mixed emotions.  It is such a beautiful place on the Mexican side.  The fence is painted with bright colors, the beach is filled with people, the water sparkles and the air smells like homemade churros.  It is the kind of idyllic place where you can't help but feel joy.  At the same time
however, it is also a place where a great number of people have died crossing.  The fence separates families and marks a stunningly visible rift in the distribution of wealth.  Upon closer inspection, the bright colors and paintings on the fence contain emotional and moving sentiments.  One quote in particular struck me.  It read: "Boundaries and borders and are temporary, but family is forever."
7:01 PM I am so full.  We Just had a pasta dinner...and started another puzzle.
9:58 PM I am exhausted!!! Good Night! (Oh, and in case you were wondering...the puzzle isn't going so well.)
         by Laurie Murray

Hump Day
Well, here we are, halfway point. The point where the nights are much shorter, and the days seem kinda endless. Each day it takes a little more time to get up and its usually accompanied with some groans; aside from the groans and zombie-like faces on the ride to the worksite the experience is very rewarding. Each day we are reminded why we came and why we need to do what we are doing this. this house not only provides the family a roof over their heads but also provides an unconditional love and gratitude from complete stranger. We met the family only a few days ago and they have given us so much love.
We worked on the house today and it is absolutely crazy that we did so much. I am severely sore everywhere and had sand and concrete in places sand and concrete shouldn't go... regardless the three servings of food the family we were working with gave me absolutely made all the struggles worth it. Their smiles and laughs makes all the hard work pay off.
As we concluded our day, tired and dirty we headed to border. Words cannot describe the desolate feeling one feels when such a beautiful beach is destroyed because there is a "wall" that runs through the middle of it. Song lyrics, book quotes and thoughtful reflections decorate the wall that separate dreams from reality. That wall symbolizes to me the lack of care we have to those who need the most. This wall has destroyed families, lives and dreams. George Harrison once said "With every mistake we must surely be learning." Every time I see something that separates us from our own race and care for humanity I feel that we are very far from learning our lesson.
This hump day has been the hard climb to the halfway point and also the emotional climb to learn that there is suffering beyond our borders. There is a world out there that needs help. The lesson needs to be learned.
         by David Armas Molina

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